The Prisoner Wine Company Prisoner 2012
Other Red Blends from Napa Valley, California
The wine has a deep ruby red hue that is framed in rich crimson. Aromas of black cherry and plum, surrounded by roasted coffee beans and vanillin oak accents. The entry is powerful and lush with flavors of bing cherry, blueberry and cocoa. Soft and velvety tannins round out the finish making this wine approachable and inviting.
"The 2012 vintage was truly a great vintage. Mother Nature was kind to us and we are really happy about the quality of the fruit. It was a slow and cool growing season that allowed for great hang time and optimal ripeness. We really had fun tasting and blending this wine because we had so many great lots to work with."
Jen Beloz, Winemaker
Blend: 46% Zinfandel, 22% Cabernet Sauvignon, 18% Petite Sirah12% Syrah & 2% Charbon
Wine Spectator - "Ripe, jammy and sweet, this is loaded with toasty oak. Subtle this is not, loaded with flavor, offering notes of black cherry, chocolate, licorice and cinnamon spice. Should appeal to fans of the style. Zinfandel, Cabernet Sauvignon, Petite Sirah, Syrah and Charbono."
The Wine Advocate - "There are 20,000 cases of the 2012 The Prisoner, which is an interesting blend of 46% Zinfandel, 22% Cabernet Sauvignon,18% Petite Sirah, 12% Syrah, and a small amount of Charbono. Its deep ruby/purple color is followed by a big, peppery, meaty, Rhone-like bouquet with hints of bay leaf, unsmoked cigar tobacco, black currants and sweet jammy cherries. Medium to full-bodied and explosively fruity, this is a lovely, hedonistic, seriously endowed red to drink over the next 3-4 years."
James Suckling - "A juicy and ripe red with dried berry and currant. Hints of raisins too. Full body, soft and round tannins and a fresh finish. A blend of zinfandel and cabernet. Big wine. Drink now."
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The Prisoner Wine Company Winery
The Prisoner Founder and Winemaker Dave Phinney’s deep respect for the vineyards is rooted in an early attempt to make a sophisticated wine from a difficult site. Although he was frustrated by a situation that had him using every tool at his disposal and still coming up short, he learned lessons that inform his vineyard selection process now.
"I came away from that experience with the unshakable belief that if you put your emphasis on the vineyard, what follows is much easier," he says. "The vineyard is everything."
Most of Phinney’s time is spent exploring vineyard sites, meeting with growers and selecting the fruit that will be vinified and blended into The Prisoner. His method for vineyard selection includes assessing the site, soil, varietal, grower and provenance, or the history, of the vineyard.
"Sometimes one of these aspects is enough, other times it's a combination of a few of these elements," he says. "With provenance, looks can be deceiving, so you have to trust in the track record of a vineyard as opposed to what you see. Occasionally you step into a vineyard and can't get to your phone fast enough to call the grower and lock up the grapes. Those experiences are one of a kind." View all The Prisoner Wine Company Wines
About Napa Valley
It's hard not to think of Napa Valley when thinking of California wines. The region is, after all, the one that brought world recognition to California wine making. The area was settled by a few choice wine families in the 1960's who bet that the wines of the area would grow and flourish. They were right. The Napa wine industry really took off in the 1980's, when vineyard lands were scooped up and vines were planted throughout the county. A number of wineries emerged, from large conglomerates to small boutiques to cult classics. Cabernet Sauvignon is definitely the grape of choice here, with many winemakers also focusing on Bordeaux Blends. Whites are usually Chardonnay and Sauvignon Blanc.
Notable FactsWithin the Napa Valley lie smaller sub-AVAs that lend even more character specifics to the wines. Furthest south is Carneros, followed by Yountville, Oakville & Rutherford. Above those two is St.-Helena and finally, just grated an AVA, Calistoga. These areas are situated on the valley floor and are known for creating rich, smooth Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot and Chardonnay. There are a few mountain regions as well, nestled on the slopes overlooking the valley AVAs. Those include Howell Mountain, Stags Leap and Mount Veeder. Wines from the mountain regions are often more structured and firm, benefiting from more time in the bottle to evolve and soften.
About CaliforniaIt's not rare to see a wine's country of origin listed as "California." A country into itself in the wine world, California makes enough varieties and styles to match many European wine countries. It produces a diverse range of wines that span the quality spectrum.
The most famous of the California wine regions is Napa Valley, and these wines are certainly outstanding – but it's not as broad and diverse as its larger neighbor, Sonoma County. Down south, Santa Barbara's Santa Maria Valley is well-known for its Rhône blends, as well as cool-climate varieties like Pinot and Chardonnay. The Central Coast, the largest California AVA, has many different microclimates that lead to a wide range of wines with many sub-AVAs.
Customer ReviewsSign In to Add Your Review4.5 }div>4.4 out of 5 stars
- 5 Stars: 8
- 4 Stars: 2
- 3 Stars: 1
- 2 Stars: 1
- 1 Stars: 0
12 ratings, 8 with reviewsso25 - El Paso, TX53/13/2014Absolutely one of my favorite wines! Bold, smooth and holds through the palate. Good with most anything or by itself. For everyone I have introduced it to, it has become their favorite wine.nicholasv - Dublin, OH38/18/2014Wilfred Wong (of Wine.com) - San Francisco, CA47/2/2014
A power winet that takes over the palate and then some, the 2012 Prisoner is a heavy-duty red wine made mostly of zinfandel. Full bodied and mouth-coating, this as they say, "Takes no prisoners." A perfect choice with grilled beef.mullzoo - Boston, MA55/19/2014TinaS - Pinson, AL54/11/2014
- Big & Bold
- Pair With
- rib eye of beef
I have found my new favorite! I'm sending this to my sister in New Orleans too. It's very smooth. I love the body and overall taste. I may not be an expert at good wines, but I am surely an expert on bad ones.JOSEPH MICHAEL MERCURIO - Columbus, OH53/29/2014
- Smooth & Supple
love this bottle of wine well worth the price.skinewmexico - Midland, TX23/13/2014
- Smooth & Supple
- Pair With
Don't recall the year, but completely over-blown in it's hype. Can think of any number of wines that are better.43/5/2014Fruity and bold in the smooth Napa style. It's a welcome change from the Paso reds in my county.OCWinelover - Laguna Beach, CA52/19/2014Absolutely love this red. It's wonderful for a cocktail party, gift, or just to enjoy with a great meal at home. Smooth, warm, earthy, creamy…love it with cornish game hens, veal dishes, a stew meal… I originally tried it at a wine sharing party and have enjoyed it since. Highly recommend.xltrydr - Yreka, CA511/30/2013adamtip - Rochester, NY511/16/2013As good as 2011, maybe even better!ckdiii - Mechanicsburg, PA512/22/2012
- Big & Bold
- Smooth & Supple
Alcohol By Volume GuideMost wine ranges from 10-16% alcohol by volume. Some varietals tend to have higher (for example Zinfandel and Cabernet Sauvignon) or lower alcohol levels (Pinot Noir and many white varietals), but there is always some variation from producer to producer. Some wine falls outside of this range, for instance Port weighs in closer to 20%, while Muscat and Riesling are usually a bit below 10%.
Wine Style Guide
Light & Fruity
- Red wines that are more fruit-forward and lighter in tannin and body.
Smooth & Supple
- Medium bodied reds that go down easy, with smooth tannins and supple fruit.
Earthy & Spicy
- Wines where earthy and/or spicy dominate the flavors – typically medium to full body.
Big & Bold
- Full bodied wines that have concentrated fruit and are higher in alcohol and/or tannins. Some need age.
- 5 Stars: